Importance of Eye Contact in Nonverbal Communication

Published: 2021-06-23
1202 words
5 pages
11 min to read
Wesleyan University
Type of paper: 
Case study
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Eye contact is an important aspect of nonverbal communication which conveys a lot of information with regards to the social behavior of an individual or the parties involved in the communication process. Eye contact is attached to many meanings some of which involve a sign of respect, paying attention, social communication, a sign of confidence, and expression of feelings. The mode of eye contact involves an individual directly looking into the eyes of another person who is talking or one whom they are talking to. Eye contact is a primal nonverbal means of communication which is applied across many fields ranging from the classroom where students pay attention to whatever they are taught by the teacher by maintaining eye contact. Instances, where there is no maintenance of eye contact between the learner and the teacher, are always very embarrassing as the information being conveyed between the two parties is obviously not well encapsulated. Eye contact is also beneficial in organizations, companies, offices, and industries; here, the managers will always have an announcement or a message to pass across to the employees: this requires maximum attention from the workers so as not to mess up for instance during a crucial procedure that does not warrant faultiness. Whenever parents talk to their children, it is always good for the children to maintain eye contact with their elders as this is always a sign of respect. In many cases, children are always fearful of their parents for instance when they are being scolded; a situation which makes it hard for them to maintain eye contact with them.

Despite eye contact being an important tool in nonverbal communication, there are also instances where the mode is wrongly used for instance when flirting; giving a hard look makes the eye contact to lose meaning. The best suggestions for flirting include maintaining eye contact with the other partner involved in the flirting situation; the eye contact should not be a sign of desperation but rather it should be an indication to the other partner that you are interested. While maintaining eye contact, always remember to give an ear to the flirtation object. Some scenarios require a shift to the side view for efficient relaying of information passed across. As far as social context is concerned, it is good to take note of the fact that different communities give the significance of diverse range to eye contact. Eye contact remains a hard task for most people; people who are shy will always find it hard to look directly into another persons eye when the other person is addressing them or when they are the ones addressing the other partner.

According to many observations, young men are the people who mostly find it hard to make good eye contact; they are really struggling to measure up to the standards of the social skill which is now a multi-generational problem. On the other hand, the females ability to make and hold eye contact is on an average compared to the males. Research shows that the higher the testosterone levels a fetus is exposed to while in the uterus, the lesser extent which they make eye contact as an infant; this is across genders. Surprisingly, male babies who are presumed to having high levels of testosterone are an exception with the rule relating eye contact and the testosterone levels. With regards to making eye contact at infancy, the male babies always end up being as adept as their female counterparts. Infants born as alpha babies will never be afraid to look someone directly into their eyes.

Recent studies reveal various perceptions about men who are able to maintain eye contact; that these men are more confident and emotionally stable, sincere, honest, trustworthy, attractive, likable, dominant, powerful, qualified, skilled, competent, valuable, warm, and personable. The females always know the weakness at men maintaining eye contact, on many instances they usually say that men blush at their presence or whenever they address them. Among people who can benefit so much from maintaining eye contact are musicians in winning over new fans, fighters in edging out their enemies, lawyers in convincing the jury about a case, and men in wooing ladies.



Men have always found it hard to make marriage proposals to women at public places mostly social gatherings; the difficulty in this always comes in when the man is required to make eye contact with the woman while proposing to her. Men who have been witnessed proposing in public places have earned themselves high levels of respect amongst their fellow counterparts.


The hypotheses of the study were:

Maintaining a good eye contact can win you a lady without even wooing her.

Making good eye contact would also create an intimate connection between a man and a woman at a social interaction.

What can one gather from looking directly into a partners eye?

What other perception can making good eye contact earn a man in a social interaction?


Sitting at a restaurant where many couples hang around on dates, for marriage proposals, and picnics in the evening to observe how men behave as far as maintenance of eye contact is concerned made was an interesting case study. The setup of the dining tables around the restaurant was in such a way that when a partner was sitting on one side of the table, then the other party was supposed to sit directly opposite. Many men were courteous enough to pull the seats for the ladies, but the problem came in when the men wanted to sit; most of them were really frustrated at the positions where they had sat directly opposite to their ladies. At times, a man could just pull his seat to avoid eye contact with his fiancee; this was very embarrassing.


The restaurant has a holding capacity of a hundred couples, making the number of individuals to be 200; 100 male and 100 females. 95% of the men in the restaurant were distracted in one way or the other; by pulling of seats, phone calls which they could not relent to pick, looking at their plates and dining table while talking, and looking for whoever they knew to perhaps say hi. The remaining 5% sat directly opposite to their female counterparts, their conversations were very lively and attractive for those who found it hard to maintain eye contact with their fiancees. The women at the restaurant did not hesitate to look directly into their male counterparts eyes; none of the females had a hard time making eye contact.


Nothing ever kills a ladys morale when they are proposed to or wooed by a guy who cannot look them in the eyes. The pulling of seats made the female very insecure as most of the men sat in positions where they were having gazes with other women on other tables. It is obvious that the women who were at the restaurant had good prospects in mind for the social interaction, unlike the men who could barely look at them while talking. Men who take an extra step to work on their eye contact skills are perceived as more appealing and every woman would want to have that; this has an impact on the quality of the interaction.


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